Where darkness hides, light is seen

fire island 2015

Good morning! from oh so chilly Long Island. The temps are going to plummet (love that word) and for reals, we are going to feel the dip. It’s February, I don’t whine much, I sorta expect the CHILL, after all,  this IS winter. I will take a moment to comment and sarcastically acknowledge anyone who lives South of NY. Ummmm… WE GET IT!, Thank You! it’s warmer. Call me in June and tell me again how your face is melting and it is raining for 5 days and the thunderstorms are so severe you can’t plan anything outdoors. Thanks to all of you for your snide remarks and artsy little quotes and pics. Hey at least they’re “cute” if not annoyingly so.  I will remind you that I have the blessing of having 4 beautiful, bountiful seasons on Long Island. This is all I have ever known. I chuckle to myself that as each season changes, I say…this season is my very favorite one! Truth…every single season, month, year, I am grateful, humble that I am blessed to breathe and live in it.  I’ve shared before, I don’t live by the weather forecast, the weather channel or the over hyped, totally embellished weather people who report it. I find it comical, hysterical to watch everyone “panic”. My solution or coping mechanism is I cook, I bake, I organize, I take photos of the purely white flakes. I maximize my snow days and get shit done., winning?. Uhhh, yes. I am also blessed to be able to work from home, remote and fully equipped to run my business from my warm, cozy house.  I guess I have grown accustomed to “it is what it is”. If you can’t change it, accept it. DEAL with it.  Again, it isn’t about what you are dealt with, it is how you deal with it. I feel like this alone could be leelee’s blog mantra. Courage, acceptance, letting go, serenity, peace. I believe all of us internally crave this. Easier said than done. No one can give you what allows us to heal. You must give it to yourself, everyday, through pray and hope and support. Then you must accept it in your soul. The process, the journey is long and tedious at times. I continue to pray, to reach deep into my spirituality and belief that Jesus will lift our family and heal us in time. I acknowledge my sadness, and grief, but I am humble and grateful each day the pain is not searing and burning through my chest anymore. The initial shock of losing your sibling. That unfamiliar world is scary and new. I could feel  the crushing darkness, yet all I could see in my mind was Tom’s brilliant sparkling blue in his eyes. I miss him everyday. The last 7 weeks are a blur, surreal, painful.  I have had sleepless nights and cried to him, for him daily. I busy myself, make mental lists and reach out to his family.  I attend a support group through my church and it’s a safe place to talk, share your pain or your love and start the healing process with support and encouragement. Tonight is a Valentine’s celebration at our group. I’ve attended this before, for my parents. We are asked to bring photographs of our loved ones and share them with our group.  We can share a memory or just talk about them. I will not lie, I dreaded having to go through photo’s. I wasn’t feeling good about opening that visual, didn’t feel I was ready to stare into his eyes. I see him in my mind, that was enough for me. So, I gathered up a few pictures and tucked them in my beach room earlier this week. I am sorta proud I was able to do that. I did it for Thomas. Tonight, I will share my love for him there.

I shared the link for his Memorial Fundraising Website last week. I am not sure it embedded properly. I am posting it again. It is a fundraiser for his wife and his 5 children. If you can donate, Thank you so much for your support and love.



Bring Your Fundraising Ideas to Life

In memory of Thomas

Good Morning from chilly New York.   Sunday morning and all is quiet and solemn. I sit and reflect on the last  couple of months and I am achy and mentally exhausted. I attempted to listen to a spiritual message and sip some strong brew to get my brain function going. I say attempted, because honestly, I listened for 30 minutes and I do not recall hearing one word. My mind was elsewhere, as often now, I drift and relive the tragic and horror of my brother’s death. I am aware when I visit his wife and family, that I develop some anxiety. As I make the drive to his home, memories flood my mind, reality hits me instantly. I know he will not be there.  I come loaded with groceries and raviolis. This is what I do. This is where I feel somewhat useful. I try and give and be present. My brother left swiftly. He left abruptly and he certainly did not have his affairs in any sort of order. He left a mess, a trail, a tragic web of financial burdens and loose ends.  It makes me sick when I see the aftermath. I knew there would be one for a long time.  When tragedy strikes, you have no other choice but to deal. What I have learned in my 1/2 century on earth.. IS…..it is How you Deal. My brother’s death just reaffirmed what I already knew. We all deal with various types of struggles. Life presents all of these things to us.  They come in so many forms. Personal, financial, marital, kids, career, family. When I analyze (and Lord knows I do this a lot)  I am meditating and praying and talking to God. I ask my brother every day, why did you choose to leave? To end it? I haven’t come up with a definitive answer. I say, I’m working on it, like solving a puzzle or a mysterious crime. I know in my heart, I will never get “THE” answer. He is unable to provide that for me. I am coming to terms in my heart. I am accepting that survivors of a loved one who takes their own life, are left with the ever burning, baffling question.  I go over and over the reasons. The reasons don’t add up and make sense of his choice.  The grief and sadness smother your heart. The reality is, he is gone from here and missed. Suicide leaves a wrath of darkness and unanswered questions. I console myself  repeating these words.  I can’t imagine how HE FELT at that moment.  Devastating and painful still.

In memory of my brother Thomas, his friends have come together to support his wife and 5 children. They set up a memorial fund in honor of Tom and are planning a fundraiser in March for his children in college and to help his wife. He left so abruptly, just shy of 56 years, his passing has left them all wounded and scared. Yes, they considered him the “GLUE” that held them together. Tragic and surreal, here we are. If you are able to donate, please click on the link and Thank you all for your love & support. Please keep the prayers coming.  Peace and love to you all.


Bring Your Fundraising Ideas to Life

I dreamt….

Good Morning from rainy, snowy, slushy New York.  We had a good storm last week. The temps stayed pretty cold so we kept the 2 feet of snow all week. I awoke this morning to a rather slushy, icy mess. All week the forecasters are yapping out numbers, 6-10 inches, a foot more up near Boston. Today, the weather people are chiding its more than likely just going to Rain! Again, why stress? I’ve come to the conclusion, weather patterns are like women, we change our minds in a blink! HA! So….,  I take this all in stride. Like I told one of my managers who lives down south last week. “this is what we do, in New York”. I don’t stress much over weather. We glided into February yesterday, Super Bowl Sunday. I had my little Granddaughter for the day, and she is the light and the hope in my heart these days. She is such a peaceful, loving soul. She seems content most of the time and holding her and loving her is like holding a twinkling star. She is indeed One Month Old now! thriving and more alert each day. Her Mom & Dad look exhausted! I keep reassuring them, as soon as the little one hits 10 or 11 lbs, you will see a different baby! They kind of look at me abit crazy, but Nana knows the magic number! Thank you Lord for blessing us with this perfect angel.  My brother Thomas, did not get to meet my Granddaughter, but he certainly knew she had arrived. I shared a picture with him at his son’s birthday party and he wasn’t quite “present” in that moment,  he managed a  smile and stared at her picture,  but he had no words. I remember feeling a little put out,  kind of hurt that he didn’t make a big deal about it. I remember thinking, he seems abit “out” of it to myself. When I reflect on the past few months, I am very sad. I suppose he was quietly and secretly suffering a multitude of sadness and depression and despair. Why he chose to hide it and not tell a soul, is something I can never really understand. Pride and secrecy, a lethal dose and blow. My brother’s wife and Granddaughter visited over this weekend to meet Anna Lisa. My great Niece Callie  3 1/2 yrs old,  is such a beautiful, healthy, smart girl. She played and giggled all day and baked with my daughter and held Anna Lisa on her lap and bonded with her baby cousin. Our family is coping, good days and bad. We are staying close and in contact with each other, grieving in our own ways, this is not easy, didn’t think it would be, but I try and be present. I allow myself to cry and pray whenever those moments come and they come often still. I dreamt of Thomas this morning. A brief, solemn moment. He walked into the house and asked to go upstairs to the attic. I can’t quite place where we were, I was with my brother Michael & I can’t recall who also was in the dream. I just remember him slowly ascending up a stairway. I awoke, feeling that is where he was headed….up to heaven, away from pain and suffering.  He was calm and quiet, very much the same way he had been for months before he died. I was sad and glad in the same moment. I got a glimpse of my brother, but yet, we didn’t speak. Losing anyone is painful. Losing a sibling, devastating. Losing my brother at 55, tragic. Life hurts sometimes, but Love is everlasting and eternal. I meditate and pray everyday, I pray for everyone I love who is suffering and loved my brother Thomas. The  sadness rises and falls with each hour. I miss him.   I hold onto hope and faith. This is all we really have. Yet, the world still spins and life continues in slow motion as we grieve and accept his death. I continue to ask for prayers for our family.

glory of living